It’s already summer and we are in hurricane season. Let’s prepare our orchids for high winds.
I like to stake and wire all of my orchids, especially the tall ones, so they are not off balance. Top heavy ones are sleeved(putting a smaller pot into a larger pot), sometimes several times and into cement pots. Remember we never want to put that orchid in a huge pot, just so that it does not topple. It will be the fastest way to kill the orchid from root rot. Always pot into the smallest pot possible, then sleeve it if it wants to fall over. With my tallest orchids, I drive a rebar into the ground and then tie the orchid to the rebar.
Hanging orchids need to be taken down before strong winds strike or they will become missiles.
Often forgotten is securing our orchid labels or name tags. After a hurricane, all of my orchids were knocked off the benches and the pots were blown to the end of the greenhouse. Of course it was a huge mess, with media, Styrofoam peanuts, orchids and labels strewn about. I failed to secure my labels onto my orchids, so they became separated, some forever.
On my really good orchids, I now attach my labels (using a hole punch and wire) onto the stake and wire that keeps my orchids together. This way they will never be separated. Some folks will put multiple labels within their pots, and some will even bury an extra label in the media. Remember, labels especially plastic ones have a short lifespan, so you want a good quality vinyl label. We have even used old vertical blinds and aluminum as labels. I like to keep additional information like, last repot, origin of the plant, last bloom, number of flowers, flower description, last fertilizing, etc. So big labels are good. Whatever we do, we never want an orphaned orchid.
On April 24, 2019, UH Manoa Hamilton Library held a presentation entitled, “Journey Through the Natural Sciences in Hamilton Library’s Rare Book Collection”.
Attendees were able to look through several rare books featuring beautifully illustrated plates of orchids, birds and other animals.
One of the presenters, Sheron Harwood, WOS President, captivated the audience with her knowledge of orchid history, diversity and culture.
The books from this rare collection dated from as early as 1587!
Of particular interest was a large, bound volume published from 1837-1843, The Orchidaceae of Mexico & Guatamala.
You can see from the picture of the Cattleya Skinneri with Sheron’s hand in it, just how immense this book was.
Other pictures are a Cycnoches Egertonianum, unusual in that it has male and female flowers and a Stanhopea Martiana, unique because the flower spikes grow down from the bottom.
The detail and accuracy of these hand-drawn prints were amazing, right down to bug bites on the stems.
~ Dawn Bonak
I bet if I do everything just right, I can get that daggum orchid flower to come out of that plant. I know it’s in there because I’d seen it before. It was a sweet little thing that made me smile to look at it.
OK, let’s see here. Now, Scot says what you need to pay attention to is:
#1- Don’t leave your plant soaking in water all day. It’s got to dry quick or the roots will rot.
There are tricks for that. You put the plant in a pot with stuff like Styrofoam (not kiddin’) for the bottom and around the sides. Then, add some bark or gravel to take up the space in the middle of the pot and get that plant in there all nice and snug, so it won’t wobble around. Get it? This stuff’s not gonna hold water very long at all.
And, the most important thing is to use a little-bitty pot. That way, there’s no way for water to accumulate. If that plant is still wobbly, put a stake next to a stem and twist-tie them together. If the plant wants to fall over, put that little pot into an empty bigger pot.
#2-Blah, blah, blah…
That’s a lot of words.
Don’t you wish someone can just show you how to do this?
Well, you are in luck.
Go watch Scot, or another orchid sage, in person at a Windward Orchid Society Saturday Workshop at Dot’s house. It’s better than a YouTube video because you can ask questions and even bring your own plant and fix it up under expert orchid tutelage.
And bonus, bring a yummy dish to share and enjoy a potluck lunch and talking story after the workshop. This is more fun than reading about orchid care…really.
Watch for more details about these workshops in your Windward Orchid Society newsletter.
Of course you need to sign up and be a member to get our newsletters.
Here’s what happens at Dot’s Workshop:
Larry Yamamoto, from the Kunia Orchid Society, shared his knowledge and experience on the topic of General Orchid Care.
Larry has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Hawaii and 30 years of experience with the US Department of Agriculture.
He grows Cattleya, Vanda, Slipper Orchids and other orchids.
WOS Cook Book
Available at all WOS events for $15.
Orchid Doctor If you have questions about your orchids or have orchids that are not doing well, please bring them early (7:00p.m.) to the General Membership meeting and our orchid doctor (Scot) will gladly identify the problem and try to answer your questions.
General Questions For questions about the Windward Orchid Society, see Craig Nakahara (wearing a florescent green shirt) during our General Membership Meeting.
Refreshment Contributions Sign up sheets are at the refreshment table or you can email Toni Walker at email@example.com.
Mail correspondence to: Windward Orchid Society, Inc. P.O. Box 23 Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 The WOS meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria.
The Windward Orchid Society meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria, located at 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy. in Kaneohe.
Become a member
Join the Windward Orchid Society to help promote, educate and show an appreciation of one of the most beautiful and exotic of all plants. The Orchid.